Welcome To The Sunshine Room!
Lead Early Educator
This is what our classroom looks like!
Drop off and pick up happen at the back door of our classroom. Parents meet us at the back door, are asked a series of mandated health screening questions, and their child’s temperature is taken. If there is any important, time-sensitive information, it can be relayed at drop off or pick up. To share information about your child’s day, we use an app called “SeeSaw” to post photos, and send home daily “check-in” sheets that describe your child’s day. We also frequently use email or phone calls to communicate with families.
These are our classroom cubbies. Each child gets two, labeled with their name and picture. Children keep their backpacks, nap stuff, coats, snow gear, and extra clothes in these cubbies. Children are responsible for putting their items away when they arrive in the morning, and keep track of their gear, but teachers are happy to help them find something!
This is where the Sunshine Friends have meeting each day. We start out meeting by checking in with each child about how they are feeling, children always have the option to pass if they don't want to share. Some meetings throughout the week are set aside to use our social-emotional curriculum, learn American Sign Language, and learn about calendars. The remainder of the week is spent on the study that the our class is engaged in. Currently we are learning about forest animals and have spent our meeting times learning about birds that live in the forest in Vermont.
There are three built-in meal times during the day. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided by Trinity, and typically include a fruit or vegetable and a grain. Parents can choose to have their child signed up for school lunch, which is provided by Burlington School District, or send a home lunch. In the Sunshine Room, we use meal times as a way to check in with each other, share stories, tell jokes, and practice our manners!
In our classroom, the loft is used as a self-care area. There's a bean bag and a basket of books about feelings. There are also sensory toys such as weighted pillows, a sand timer, squishy balls, and stuffed animals. Children are encouraged to use the loft as a place to “take space.” In the Sunshine Room, children are encouraged to take space if they feel sad, mad, tired, scared, or just need some alone time. Hanging next to the loft is a poster that displays the 3 steps that we practice to calm down. This process is taught at our morning meeting using our social-emotional curriculum, Second Step.
Each morning there are a variety of choices set up during free play time. These often include building materials, sensory activities, books, and the art table.
In these pictures, children are working on art projects related to our forest animal study. We began our study by focusing on the birds that live in the forest. In the first photo, a child is making a bird feeder out of a toilet paper tube with peanut butter and bird seed. Once the bird feeders dried, we hung them around our playground so that we could watch the birds!
In the second photo, a child is coloring a picture of a black-capped chickadee. He is using a color photo as reference to find the correct color for each area of the bird's body.
A special area in our classroom is our family photo wall. In the beginning of the school year, we ask families to send in family photos. These can range from selfies to professional photos, and we welcome several pictures. We even encourage photos of family pets! As the photos are sent in, I ask children to describe the photos to me, and I type these up as a caption. Having these family photos displayed has felt like an important way to keep families connected with the classroom for the children, since their family members aren’t able to come into the classroom. Children love being able to point out their family photos to children and teachers, and often like to look at their pictures when they’re feeling sad, or missing home.